no to isis

A story I have seen quite a bit, it maybe fictional (it may not) but its message is true

Yesterday an ISIS member stopped the car of a Christian couple.
ISIS member: Are you Muslim?
Christian man: Yes, I’m Muslim.
ISIS member: If you are a Muslim, then recite a verse of Quran.
Christian man recited a verse from the Bible.
ISIS member: Ok yallah go.
Later his wife tells him: “I cannot believe the risk you just took.
Why did u tell him that we are Muslims?
If he knew you were lying he would have killed both of us.”
“Do not worry! If they knew the Quran they would not kill people” answered the Husband.
ISIS is not Islam, terrorism has no religion.
Androlphegax on Twitter
#GamerGate July 5, 2015 I'm still # 73031 of 87613 on the #ISIS blacklist

ISIS supporters use now this tool to make a giant blacklist, and possibly a publicly curated list of people ISIS should target. And for some reasons, the list of GamerGate related twitters accounts from ggautoblocker list was added to the ISIS blacklist.

How long before this blacklist becomes a hit list?

Are you ISIS blacklisted? Check it!

More read:

Jacob Hoffman Andrews aka @j4cob, the creator and maintainer of this tool:

is a EFF staff member:

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA’s illegal mass surveillance program. But apparently ISIS blacklisting is fine.

Hope in a hopeless world

A tribute to the contrarians

My favourite film of all time is Sydney Lumet’s masterpiece “12 Angry Men” from 1957, starring the peerless Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb. The film revolves around a jury who have witnessed the trial of an 18 year old accused of having killed his father. All the evidence and witness testimony seem to point to the young man being guilty and, if deemed so, he must be sentenced to death. “That is the law” explains Juror number 1, played exquisitely by Martin Balsam. The story kicks off with the chairman of the jury asking who thinks the accused is guilty. Eleven of the jurors, including the chairman, raise their hands, convinced of the fact in what seems to be an open-and-shut case.

But there’s one man who refrains, One man who wants to talk about it. One man who, despite standing alone in the face of adversity and group pressure, feels that he can’t just raise his hand and send a kid to his death without having discussed the facts first. As the jurors begin to dissect each testimony and evidence presented at the trial, one by one, they start to express doubts. Was it really as clear-cut as it seemed? What if the witnesses were wrong? What if the defence attorney did a bad job? What if the evidence doesn’t withstand closer scrutiny?

In Christopher Hitchens’ book “Letters to a young contrarian”, the master polemicist and late author underlines the importance of being able to question authority, majority opinion and conventional wisdom. Referencing Voltaire and Emile Zola, among others, Hitchens makes the case that the most courageous and noble people in history have always been those who refuse to fall into the party line. Those who express views they know they will be hated, chastised and often abused for. From Galileo to Darwin to Rosa Parks, intellectual and moral progress has always derived from individuals rejecting the conventional wisdom and questioning the unquestionable, all in the face of extreme adversity. And no subject in human history has the epithet of unquestionability more than that which is considered to be The Holy.

The eagerness to protect ideas from any form of scrutiny, questioning or satire is a virus which will infect every individual living within the society it plagues sooner or later. Nowhere is this more relevant today than in the case of Islam.

As the worst fascist movement of our time is making grounds in the Middle East and Nigeria, inspired by a certain interpretation of Islamic beliefs, the need to call out the root cause of this phenomenon (Islamism) has never been greater. The importance of calling a spade a spade is the first step in being able to strangle the air these vermin require to survive. This work is today carried out by courageous and noble individuals like Maajid Nawaz, Haras Rafiq Irshad Manji, Dr. Usama Hasan (all believing Muslims), Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sam Harris, Jonathan Russell, Maryam Namazie, Reza Moradi, Chris Moos, John Sargeant, Nick Cohen, Charlie Winter, Tom Holland, Graeme Wood, Mehrdad Amanpour and the inimitable Douglas Murray. They are the ones refusing to raise their hands and comply with the notion that certain ideas cannot be criticized and must be protected at any cost.

And just like Juror #7 who refused to give in to the group mentality, these brave women and men are constantly and unremittingly attacked by the crowd at every end of the spectrum, from being called race traitors to islamophobes to racists. The disgraced and now exposed Mo Ansar, formerly known as British media’s “go-to Muslim”, has even gone so far as to equate Quilliam, the anti-terrorist organization founded by Maajid Nawaz and which has Haras Rafiq as its Managing Director, with ISIS.

When I met my personal hero, the phenomenal scientist and philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, I told him that he is hated by both the religionists and the so called New Atheists, to which he replied “It means that I must be doing something right!”

This is precisely how I view the indomitable individuals I have mentioned above. When you are hated by the extreme right, the religionists and the far left, you know you must be doing something right.  The extreme right hate some for their heritage and all for their liberal views on topics such as gay marriage and equality for all, while the religionists consider them to be blasphemers, infidels and apostates. However, perhaps the most worrying is the far left who strive to shut down the debate by making accusations of non-existing concepts such as “Islamophobia” (I remain grateful to Microsoft for still underlining this word as an incorrect spelling), or ludicrous charges of racism and bigotry.

The aforementioned Christopher Hitchens once remarked, correctly, that he always considered the Ad Hominem [personal attacks] by his opponents as a sign of victory, as it demonstrated a lack of intellectual arguments against his position. I have yet to hear a single, coherent argument against Maajid Nawaz’s reasoning or work. The same can be said for practically every other name I have listed above.

Instead, we are told by the likes of Mo Ansar and Mehdi Hasan, that no mainstream Islamic organisation endorses Quilliam. As if that is a bad thing! However, I challenge the proponents of this argument to the following:

Find me a single Islamic organization which actively supports gay marriage and LGBT rights, stands up for secular and democratic values, liberalism, human rights, free speech, gender equality and anti-sexism, and I’ll show you an organization which supports Quilliam.

It is hard to remain hopeful in this socio-political climate. As once proud nations on our own continent crumble under the financial crisis, and right wing fascists gain strongholds in various countries around us, while vile nihilists are on the march in the Middle East and parts of Africa, hope becomes that rarest of commodities. On our own shores, change has been sweeping the nation under the banner of “multiculturalism” for the last few decades. That ill-defined concept has come to justify the acceptance of cultures that are at odds with democratic and liberal values. Yet, according to the Left, those who oppose it must be bigots and xenophobes. Once classified as such, the Left has no problem in opposing them.

Thus, the growing frustration and concerns of those who wish to speak out against certain Islamic practices, such as Sharia courts at home and Jihad abroad, has reached its boiling point and they will sooner or later find a channel through which they can declare their angst. This can manifest itself in the growing rise of anti-immigration parties or the ignorant EDL movement.

Yet, I am writing in the hope of bringing awareness to the alternative. All of the aforementioned individuals, whom I named intentionally one-by-one to make sure they are given a fraction of the credit they truly deserve, demonstrate on a daily basis that one can indeed hold liberal and democratic values and stand up for the victims while simultaneously oppose the various poisons affecting us today. This notion is one that is as incomprehensible to the far Left as it is to the Far Right. “How can one oppose US foreign policy, yet condemn the victims of that same policy?” seems to be the Left’s thinking, not understanding that there is a difference between Muslims as a people, and the likes of ISIS and Al Qaeda. As if there aren’t enough intellectual resources to condemn both. Instead, we hear the ludicrous argument that US created ISIS and Al Qaeda, as if that puts the blame at America’s doorstep (even if true, as the argument can be made for the Taliban, who were supported by the US in the fight against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan during the Cold War, how is it America’s fault what these people do when they are in power?).

This type of Red Herring, combined with the Ad Hominem’s and Non-Sequiturs, are the trademark of the far Left in justifying their condemnation of the anti-Islamist movement. In their primitive, black or white worldview, one has to be a supporter of imperialism if one objects to anything to do with Muslims.

As for the far Right, their narrow minded worldview blinds them from any ability to objectively evaluate facts. If the truth does not support their bigoted ideals, the truth can be discarded. For them, conversation is a non-starter, as ideology trumps reality.

But what about the Muslims? What impression are we left with when more believers of the world’s second largest religion take to the streets to protest the drawing of Muhammed than to oppose ISIS? What are we left with when the likes of Reza Aslan, Mo Ansar, Mehdi Hasan and Asghar “Mossad stole my show” Bukhari invest more time defaming and ridiculing Maajid Nawaz than they do criticizing ISIS? When they are far more vocal at the drawings of cartoons than they are of the murders of cartoonists? I have made this case several times before, but it demands repeating; Mehdi Hasan, perhaps the most vocal proponent and defender of Islam in the UK, wrote one single article on the tragedy of Charlie Hebdo, where 11 of his colleagues were massacred by Islamic fundamentalists. The article was not a condemnation of the despicable monsters who committed the atrocity (that was more a side-note). No, the article focused on how hypocritical the concept of Free Speech is… Yet, this is the man who takes the moral high ground and attacks Quilliam or Douglas Murray for what they rightly say about the issues within Islam.

In the midst of all these extremes, there are courageous, heroic people like Maajid Nawaz, Maryam Namazie and Haras Rafiq, who on a daily basis, in the face of death threats, ridicule and accusations of racism (among other things) dare to stand up for the principles of equality, democracy, liberalism, free speech and justice. People like Dr. Usama Hasan, arguably the most prominent Islamic scholar in Europe, who dare to admit to controversies within his own faith, and even disown the articles which contradict liberal values. Take a moment to think about the courage of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a woman who was subjected to female genital mutilation, who was given away by her father as a child to be wed with a distant, much older cousin, who had to flee her own family and was the target of a fanatical Islamist who murdered her colleague Theo van Gogh, and imagine what it takes to still carry on, where most everyone else would have given up.

Or Nick Cohen, who continuously confronts and intellectually destroys the desire of the Left and the Right to impose censorship upon societies to protect their own ideas and who, perhaps more eloquently and convincingly than any living author, dispels the notion of the revolutionary Left as a force for good.

People like Douglas Murray, the author of the brilliant ‘Islamophilia’, where he eliminates the notion that Islam is a religion of peace and exposes peoples’, and particularly politicians’, fear of offending.

These, and all the previously mentioned individuals, are people who dare to stand up against fascism and oppression in all its forms, regardless of the consequences. They present the path to fighting against certain ideas and groups, while always remaining on the victim’s side.

As a teenager, I had the indescribable privilege to meet Sioma Zubicky, a holocaust survivor, who lost his parents and brother in Auschwitz, and a man whose moral compass we can only wish to emulate. As he told us of the horrors of his time in the concentration camps under Nazi Germany, a classmate of mine asked him if he could ever forgive his tormentors and those who murdered his entire family. In his short sleeved shirt, with the grotesque tattoo exposing the numbers 146021 on his forearm in plain sight, he replied immediately that of course he would, as that would be the only way to break the cycle of hatred. But that is not the impression I am left with today, when I think of Sioma. Instead, I am reminded by his plea to us, who were to become the future generation of today, to never allow what he went through to happen again.

I am struck by how badly we have let Sioma down. On every anniversary of a major event from World War II, we are told by politicians and religious figures of how we must never allow what happened during the 1930’s and 40’s to happen again. Yet, that is exactly what we allow when the likes of ISIS and Boko Haram are marching towards victory in region after region. And I ask myself, as I ask you, my dear reader:

Who do you believe we should be listening to, if we are to stop these genocidal monsters? Those wish to focus the conversation on why we cannot, ever, criticize Islam or those who, like Maajid Nawaz and Haras Rafiq, say that Islam does have *something* to do with this, and only by accepting this self-evident notion, can we start confronting and defeating this nefarious phenomenon?

Who should we take seriously, as thousands of young Muslims from all over the world, leave their democratic homelands to join forces with these depraved nihilists; Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Maryam Namazie, who say that Islam is in desperate need of reformation, or Mehdi Hasan, who says that it isn’t (yet says that it is)?

We are being confronted with a movement which seeks to destroy all that we consider valuable. From freedom and democracy to art and music, the proponents of the Kaliphate will not stop until they have either reached their goal or been destroyed. While the politicians and the intelligentsia cower to political correctness and the Left shuts down the debate by empty name-calling, and the right seeks to impose their own ideological bigotry, and the religious commentators are too occupied with confronting defenders of cartoonists, there are a few people who, at the risk of losing their careers, social and public stature, and yes, lives, are willing speak out about the root cause of the greatest threat facing us today; Islamism.

If we are to defeat the likes of ISIS and Boko Haram, and prevent others to take their place, it is these people we should be listening to, rather than fearing to offend certain minorities or give fuel to the fire of bigots. As these individuals routinely demonstrate, one can oppose both. Thus, I ask you, to forget about social convention, forget group mentality, forget political correctness, forget fear of causing offence, forget empty name calling, but above all, forget listening to those who spew the same old arguments that have been in circulation for centuries and instead, listen to those who are trying to break the pattern.

It was once said that if the Pope wakes up and says God exists, you would think that he is only doing his job. But if he wakes up and claims God is not real, you would think that he is on to something. It is those who present ideas that seem controversial who are the ones who will break the status quo. While the likes of Reza Aslan, Glenn Greenwald or Mehdi Hasan put a finger in each ear and shout “lalalala” over and over again the moment anyone dares to criticize the idea of Islam being partially behind Islamist movements, there are those, like Haras Rafiq, Maajid Nawaz and Dr. Usama Hasan, who dare to be self-reflective and acknowledge the role of their own religion in this phenomena. While the likes of Asghar Bukhari and Mo Ansar are too focused on calumniating anyone who dares to question the role of their religion, there are those, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Douglas Murray and Maryam Namazie, who ignore the abuse to state what needs to be stated.

These are the contrarians in this debate. These are the people who dare to swim against the stream. These are the people who will, eventually, be proven right. So, I ask you, my dear reader, whose side will you be on? And why?

The truth about ISIS
  • Yesterday an ISIS member stopped the car of a Christian couple.
  • ISIS member:Are you Muslim?
  • Christian man:Yes, I'm Muslim.
  • ISIS member:If you are a Muslim, then recite a verse of Quran.
  • Christian man recited a verse from the Bible.
  • ISIS member:Ok Allah go.
  • Later his wife tells him:"I cannot believe the risk you just took.
  • Why did u tell him that we are Muslims?
  • If he knew you were lying he would have killed both of us."
  • He said:"Do not worry! If they knew the Quran they would not kill people"
  • ISIS is not Islam, terrorism has no religion.